8/11/21 : Phillies Olympic Connections
Baseball returned to the Olympics this year after last being included in 2008, the competition was fun to watch and was a great showcase for the sport on an international scale.
The Phillies had multiple current organization connections to the 2020 Olympic Baseball competition. Most know of Infielder Luke Williams participating for Team USA in the qualifying rounds before his call up to the major leagues but there was also a Phillies legend who had a prominent role on Team USA. Roly deArmas served as bullpen coach and participated in his second Olympics, he was an assistant coach on the 2008 bronze medal winning ball club. Roly has long been associated with Team USA baseball dating back to 2006 serving the team as an auxiliary, assistant and bullpen coach. He’s been a coach on the Team USA staff in the Pan Am games, the World Baseball Conference and now two Olympiads. It was really cool to follow the Tokyo experience on social media with him as Team USA won the silver medal. Roly has long been an integral part of Phillies baseball dating back to his playing days from 1973 to 1977 and moving on to coaching and managing in the minor leagues beginning in 1978. He’s currently the manager of the Florida Complex League Phillies.
The Dominican Republic Olympic team won the bronze medal in Tokyo, they made history by becoming the country’s first team to win a medal in an Olympic sport. The team had three current Phillies connections … RHP Ramon Rosso was on the roster and threw a scoreless inning against Mexico on 7/30. Ramon was placed on the temporary inactive list by the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs on 7/16 so that he could participate in the Olympics. I’m sure it’s an experience that he will always cherish. The young man is one of my favorites and am happy to see him have such great pride and joy in representing his country.
The DR team did their pre-Olympic training in the Clearwater, FL area. Arrangements for those sorts of things aren’t enabled without administrative work to bring it to fruition. Ray Robles ( Assistant Director - International Operations ) and Edwin Soto ( Minor League Administrator) are based in Clearwater to perform their duties in the Phillies player Development System. They are both very proud of their Dominican heritage and when asked to assist with the DR team training arrangements and schedule they did not hesitate. Phillies management also encouraged their endeavor and were fully supportive. Team Dominican Republic trained at Jack Russell Stadium which helped propel them to Olympic bronze. Ray and Edwin are good people and I’m happy they were able to share in the joys of such an endeavor.
There were also three former Phillies connections to this years Olympics that I’m aware of … RHP David Robertson was part of the Team USA pitching staff, OF Jose Bautista was a member of Team Dominican Republic and Catcher Nick Rickles played for Team Israel.
Just wanted to give our Phillies family members a shout out for their Olympics participation … pretty cool stuff, for love of the game and country … now that’s Happy Baseball ⚾️